Battling public speaking fears

Tyneside sales guru Tom Fenwick-Brown has set up a group to help glossophobes - people with a terror of public speaking.

To some it is a fear greater even than death itself. But now an award-winning sales guru is helping launch an organisation designed to help individuals overcome their terror of public speaking.

Glossophobia is the world's most widespread dread, affecting more people than the fear of death, but it is also one of the least addressed.

Tom Fenwick-Brown has joined inspirational public speaker and disability rights campaigner Steve Wilkinson, often known as ‘Wheelchair Steve' and businessman Peter Ayers to set up the Newcastle branch of Toastmasters International.

The organisation, which has existed since 1924 and has 235,000 members worldwide, is a not-for-profit group that improves people's speaking and general communication skills.

Tom, owner and MD of Sandler Training's North East centre, said: "I've noticed many times over the years just how much fear there is about public speaking.

"I've also noticed that some people who speak in public as part of their profession are often not really very good at it. Steve, Peter, and I thought this was a simple idea that could really help."

Tom first came across Toastmasters International while at a Sandler conference in the USA. Soon after, Steve Wilkinson suggested that he was keen to establish a local branch of the organisation.

Tom said: "There are businesses that charge a fortune to improve communication skills. Providing we get enough interest, this should cost a fiver a session. It's something that can make a big difference to anyone, is fun and easily affordable."

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Reader’s comments

  1. Simon Raybould

    10:46 19 Mar 2009

    Ha! As one of those companies which "charges a fortune" I'm going along myself to see if I can help and see if I can learn. :)

    I've blogged a zillion times about Toastmasters so it'll be interesting to see it based locally now.


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